My research agenda centers broadly on health disparities across the life course. Specifically, I am interested in how race/ethnicity, nativity, and gender interact with key social, economic, and environmental factors to shape physical health, cognitive functioning, and mortality outcomes of aging minority and immigrant groups in the United States and Mexico.
Some of the core questions that drive my research are:
- How does nativity status combine with race and ethnicity to create unique health trajectories among older men and women?
- What are some of the factors behind post-immigration health status changes for older immigrants in the U.S. that lead to advantages/disadvantages in health and mortality outcomes?
- What role does education play in the cognitive functioning of minority and immigrant groups?
- What factors contribute to favorable health and longevity patterns among immigrants?
At present, racial/ethnic and immigrant populations in the United States are much younger in age structure than Whites. However, the composition of the U.S. population is rapidly aging and becoming more diverse. In an era characterized by substantial inequalities in resources across population groups, it is crucial that researchers devote greater attention to minority and immigrant populations, particularly in the context of population aging.
I am currently seeking graduate students who are interested in studying racial/ethnic and nativity health disparities (i.e. morbidity, physical functioning, disability, and mortality) across the life course.
I am currently teaching SOCI/ETHN 481/881: Minority Groups. This course focuses on the unique experiences of African Americans and Latinos in the United States. Social science research and theory are used to compare and contrast their diverse experiences, emphasizing topics of: historical backgrounds and development; theories of assimilation, and racialization; patterns of immigration; past and present patterns of discrimination; racial/class intersections; language issues; and group conflict and cooperation.
Garcia, Marc A., Catherine Garcia, Chi-Tsun Chiu, Mukaila Raji, and Kyriakos S. Markides. “A Comprehensive Analysis of Morbidity Life Expectancies among Older Hispanic Subgroups in the United States: Variation by Nativity and Country of Origin.” Innovation in Aging 2, no. 2 (2018): igy014.
Garcia, Marc A., and Adriana M. Reyes. "Physical functioning and disability trajectories by age of migration among Mexican elders in the United States." The Journals of Gerontology: Series B 73, no.7 (2018): 1292-302. gbw167.
Downer, Brian, Marc A. Garcia, Mukaila Raji, and Kyriakos S. Markides. "Lower Risk of 10-Year Incident Cognitive Impairment for Mexican Americans Aged 75 and Older in 2004-05 Compared to 1993-94." American Journal of Epidemiology (2018): kwy196-kwy196. doi:10.1093/aje/kwy196.
Garcia, Marc A., Adriana M. Reyes, Brian Downer, Joseph L. Saenz, Rafael A. Samper-Ternent, and Mukaila Raji. "Age of Migration and the Incidence of Cognitive Impairment: A Cohort Study of Elder Mexican-Americans." Innovation in Aging 1, no. 3 (2018): igx037
Garcia, Marc A., Brian Downer, Chi-Tsun Chiu, Joseph L. Saenz, Sunshine Rote, and Rebeca Wong. "Racial/ethnic and nativity differences in cognitive life expectancies among older adults in the United States." The Gerontologist (2017): gnx142-gnx142. doi:10.1093/geront/gnx142.